We Four – Celebrating John Coltrane – Thursday, October 27

We Four–Celebrating John Coltrane 

Javon Jackson, Mulgrew Miller, Nat Reeves, Jimmy Cobb

Thursday, October 27


“One of the fresh, creative voices on the scene today.” - Ramsey Lewis

Years of touring, extensive sidemanship and studio experience that spans a hundred recorded works has imparted Javon Jackson’s playing with a melodic savvy well beyond his years. This appearance places his artistry in heavy company. We Four features Mulgrew Miller, Nat Reeves and Jimmy Cobb, mining the rich musical legacy of the one and only John Coltrane. The We Four sound takes shape amid ‘Trane classics like Naima, Fifth House and Impressions, as well as a selection of original works inspired by the greatest jazz musician of our time.

Born in Carthage, Missouri, Javon Jackson relocated to Denver, Colorado when he was still a boy. The family record collection turned him on to Gene Ammons, Sonny Stitt, Joe Henderson, Sonny Rollins and of course, John Coltrane. As a teenager, Jackson took to the alto sax and began crafting a signature sound that caught the attention of a number of established artists, most notably Branford Marsalis. It was Marsalis who prodded him to enroll at the Berklee College of Music.

Berklee professors (and ex-Jazz Messengers) Donald Brown and Billy Pierce quickly recognized the youth’s potential and landed him stage time with Art Blakey. The legendary bandleader was deeply impressed and invited Javon to join his Jazz Messengers. The impact of the three year tenure that ensued cannot be overstated. As Jackson relates, “I wouldn’t be where I am today without him. Blakey taught me to be a man; he taught me how to be a leader”. By early 90s, Jackson was working with Elvin Jones; little did he know how pertinent this collaboration would be to his artistic future.

Mulgrew Miller was very young when he took to the piano; as a boy, he came up playing gospel at church, and R&B at local dances. He dabbled in jazz as a teenager, but it was a television program featuring Oscar Peterson that set his mind to learning the idiom. Miller has since become a coveted sideman for everyone from Art Blakey and Freddie Hubbard to Joe Lovano and Stefon Harris.

Virginia native Nat Reeves got his professional start in the early 1980s as a sideman for Jackie McLean and Sonny Stitt, a figure especially influential to Javon Jackson, with whom he has worked extensively in recent years. Reeves’s intuitive and uncompromisingly rhythmic approach has made him a first-call bassist for Kenny Garrett, Pat Metheny, Benny Green, Curtis Fuller and a host of others.

A man who needs no introduction, master jazz drummer Jimmy Cobb first earned international acclaim for his work on Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue (Columbia, 1959). He’s been an essential part of landmark recordings and performances by everyone from Billie Holiday and Wynton Kelly to Joe Henderson and Peter Bernstein. Cobb was recently recognized as a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master.



We Four–Celebrating John Coltrane 

Javon Jackson, Mulgrew Miller, Nat Reeves, Jimmy Cobb


DATE: Thursday, October 27, 2011

PLACE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center

ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

TIME: 7:00 PM

PRICE: $25/Adv $28/Door, No Jazztix or Comps

TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at: http://www.kuumbwajazz.org

MORE INFO: http://www.kuumbwajazz.org or 831-427-2227


Media contact:

Sandy Sloan

Kuumbwa Jazz

(831) 427-2227



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